A sport is when players compete against other players for the purpose of entertainment. The history of sports, however, goes far back in human history. The first documented case of sports is thought to be tribesmen wrestling with one another, about fifteen thousand years ago.
The Evolution of Sports
Perhaps sports were a way for warriors to stay fit and strong for battle. If we are to look at the progenitors of modern society itself-The The Ancient Greeks, for example, they had the Olympic Games.
These games served the purpose of allowing young men to show their physical powers. This also allowed different Greek states to stay connected and for them to foster good relationships. The Olympic Games being played today directly come from this tradition amongst the ancient Greeks.
In any case, sports have been an integral part of human civilization for millennia. According to Charles Darwin, the father of evolution, everything that exists in the world exists solely because it provides utility for survival purposes. A fish has fins to help it swim. A bird has wings to help them fly. People do sports because it helps them in becoming active and keep them healthy.
There is a strong association between the word sports and physical exertion. There is, indeed, a reason for that. The base of playing sports can be found in physical activity, for instance, Football, Cricket, Wrestling, MMA, etc. The most well-known sports are displays of the extent of what the human body can do physically.
However, the idea that sports are just physical exertion could not be more wrong. The world is changing.
Video games, considered to be the vocation of the lazy and dumb in the last two decades, have turned into esports and there are now esports colleges that have opened up to cater to the new wave of people that want to learn how to get better at sports. More so than conventional sports, Esports has accumulated such a large viewership that tournaments have larger cash prizes than most Olympic game payouts.
Videogames have also come a long way from Ping and Pac Man. Games like Dota, Fortnite, Call of Duty, Minecraft, and Fifa are not just mindless button mashers. They require complex reasoning, strategic planning, patience, timing and a lot of resilience.
In fact, recently, Robert Sapolsky, who is a neurosurgery professor at Stanford University, made the claim that Chess Grandmasters lost about six thousand calories during tournament days. And that too just while sitting. To put that into perspective, a marathon runner tends to burn about twenty-six hundred calories during the entire race (A marathon is about 26 miles or 42 km approximately).
Sports and the Economy
Lionel Messi, one of the most recognizable faces on the planet earns forty million Euros per year. Cristiano Ronaldo earned about thirty-one million Euros in 2019. This is how sports sponsorships worldwide have reached $489 Billion dollars. It will not be an exaggeration to mention it here that the winner of the Fifa World Cup, every four years, gets about $40,000,000. Similarly, Dota 2, a Real-Time-Strategy game, for example, has a cumulative cash prize of about $220,000,000 across 1300 tournaments across the globe. For instance, Kyle Giersdorf, a 16-year-old Fortnite player won Three Million Dollars in a Fortnite Tournament last year in 2019.
The point of mentioning how much money can be made from things like Esport tournaments is a simple one i.e. it is popular among people all around the world. If money can be made off something it is because there is a demand for it in the market.
Esports is now at an equal position as other most conventional sports when it comes to fan following and viewership. Apart from tournaments that happen in live stadiums, video game players stream gameplay on sites like YouTube and Twitch too.
Sports are not simply a way for people to entertain themselves. They are an integral part of human civilization ever since man became civilized. The scope of the word “sports” has expanded to include games of the more cerebral nature like chess and videogames like Dota and even Fortnite.
So the next time you are playing a video game on your console and are told to “go outside”, stay firmly seated. Let them know that modern video games not only improve memory and vision but also help you lose weight. There can be various other advantages associated with sports, like, it enhances patience level and brings your sportsman spirit out. It makes you strong enough to combat with life issues. Happy gaming to you!